Objective: To clarify that factors besides obesity play an important role in the development of obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) in Japanese patients, we compared craniofacial structures in patients with severe OSAS with those of normal controls.
Methodology: The craniofacial structures of 60 Japanese patients with severe OSAS and 30 normal controls were evaluated using standard cephalometric analysis. Patients were stratified according to body mass index (BMI): non-obese, BMI < 25; moderately obese, BMI = 25-30, severely obese, BMI > 30.
Results: The SNA (sella to nasion to subspinale angle) was significantly smaller in the patient groups than in the controls. The SNB (sella to nasion to supramentale angle) and NSBa (cranial base flexure) were significantly smaller in the non-obese and moderately obese patients than in controls. The MP-H (distance from the mandibular plane to the hyoid bone) and the PNS-P (distance from the posterior nasal spine to the tip of the soft palate) were significantly longer in the patient groups than in the controls. The PNS-P was significantly longer in the severely obese patients than in the non-obese patients.
Conclusions: Japanese patients with severe OSAS have enlargement of the soft tissues and palate as well as craniofacial bony structural abnormalities. This is particularly apparent in non-obese patients.